Herbal butter and salts

img_3950We love to use a herbal garlic butter when we cook our home grown grass-fed ground beef burgers. We place a small piece of butter, about 1/4 tablespoon, inside each pattie. It keeps it moist and lends a fabulous flavor to the meat. The measurements aren’t at all critical so this is just a guide.

1 stick of organic salted butter, softened on the counter

2 cups chopped herbs such as tarragon, sage, thyme, basil, calendula flowers, oregano, dill

2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped

Mix all of the above together by hand or in a food processor for bigger batches. Put about 1/8 lb on a piece of waxed paper and roll it up so it is airtight. The herbal butter can be stored in the fridge or in the freezer for longer. This butter is also fabulous on garlic bread. Enjoy.

 

To make herbal salts, use a similar method. This salt is a special gift from Cyprus where they have lovely sea salt. It is coarse salt so I chopped it a little in my clean coffee grinder (which I use for herbs only, never coffee).

Use salt which is not iodized. Then chop the assorted fresh herbs in a food processor, or by hand, and mix them with the salt on a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake  for about 20 minutes or so at 200 degrees or until you have lovely herbal fragrance. Cool then break up any lumps and store in a glass jar. The herbal salt can be used anywhere you would usually use salt. They make a pretty and useful gift too. Delicious!

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A Vegetable Garden Rainbow

We are loving our rainbow of colors which we find when we harvest from the garden. Red strawberries, yellow dandelion flowers for soothing infused olive oil, green nettles for soup, teas and vinegar, blue skies above our chamomile, pink radishes and purple-top turnips. All pretty and delicious too.

New Life

baby bluebirds

What difference a few weeks makes. Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird have been busy feeding their young brood. We knew all was well as we often hear the young bluebirds calling to their parents as they approach the house with worms. I opened the box whilst the parents were away and these sweet birds sat, as still as could be, pretending they weren’t there. They will fledge and leave the nest in just a few days. They barely all fit and their feathers are really developing so it is time. They will stay nearby to help their parents rear the next brood. Guests at Bluebird Cottage have a wonderful view of a bluebird box opposite the cottage. We have a trail of boxes on the farm. Bluebirds have very specific requirements for their homes and will not nest in a box with a view of another bluebird family. A few years ago a guest took this lovely photo from the cottage porch.

bluebird

The bluebird is considered a symbol of happiness. They really do make us happy.

New Beginnings

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One of spring’s great joys: discovering new bluebird eggs in our farm’s nest boxes.

New beginnings are exciting and full of anticipation. Anything is possible. I’ve been eager to share so much with friends near and far and to make new friends through sharing the beauty of our farm and what we create here. The sight of these beautiful eggs in our bluebird boxes is so hopeful and full of possibilities. We’ll watch them grow and develop together. Please follow along and join me on the adventure. Please follow Bluebird Cottage at Oliver Creek Farm to learn more about us. Also, check out our farm’s lovely cottage we rent for overnight stays through AirBnB.